• Rivian’s Value Surges Past Ford, Consumer Prices Shoot Higher, Jobless Claims Drop Further

    An electric pickup truck on Rivian's assembly line in Normal, Illinois. (Rivian Automotive)
    An electric pickup truck on Rivian's assembly line in Normal, Illinois. (Rivian Automotive)

    By Richard Lawson
    CoStar News

    Rivian’s Value Surges Past Ford

    Electric vehicle company Rivian Automotive, on the hunt to build a second U.S. factory, officially began trading on the Nasdaq Composite on Wednesday and soared to a higher stock market value than either Ford Motor Co. or General Motors.
    Rivian priced its shares at $78 Tuesday evening, but they opened the day at $106.75, putting the company’s value at $91 billion. Ford, which is an investor in Rivian along with Amazon and others, is valued at around $75 billion, while GM is valued at about $86 billion.

    The company raised nearly $12 billion in funds with the public offering of 153 million shares on top of the $10.5 billion raised since 2019. In July, it had raised $2.5 billion from a group of investors that included those that had been funding the company since 2019.

    Rivian plans to use the funds to ramp up production at its plant in Normal, Illinois, the company bought from Mitsubishi Motors in 2016. The first customer model of the Rivian pickup truck rolled off the line in mid-September.

    Last week, the Normal Planning Commission approved a 623,000-square-foot addition to the plant. The town council takes up the recommendation on Nov. 15.
    Meanwhile, Rivian has been looking for a site to build a second plant that is projected to cost $5 billion. Fort Worth, Texas, emerged as the leading candidate in August.


    Consumer Prices Shoot Higher

    Consumer prices shot up in October at the highest pace in three decades, furthering concerns that inflation may be more persistent than originally anticipated.

    The Labor Department reported Wednesday that its consumer price index increased 0.9% from September, more than double the increase from August to September, pushing the index to a 6.2% increase over the past year. That’s the biggest annual gain since December 1990.

    Removing volatile food and energy prices, the index shows a 4.6% increase, which is the highest since August 1991.

    The rising prices have put the Federal Reserve in the position of having to decide when to raise rates to tamp down inflation.

    Doing so “now could reduce the pace of recovery and undermine equity and housing markets” but later could mean more inflation, Bob McNab, director of the Dragas Center for Economic Analysis and Policy at Old Dominion University, wrote on LinkedIn. “There are no good answers here, perhaps muddling through is the best we can do for now.”


    Jobless Claims Drop Further

    The number of people filing for unemployment hit yet another pandemic low to edge closer to pre-pandemic levels.

    According to a Labor Department report, new claims totaled 267,000 last week, about 11,000 above the lowest level for the week of March 14, 2020, when the pandemic became official. Last week’s figure was 4,000 lower than the previous week's that had been revised upward by 2,000.

    Those still using unemployment, known as continuing claims, fell 59,000 during the week that ended Oct. 30 to 2.16 million. It’s the first time in weeks that the decline wasn’t in the triple digits.

    The unemployment numbers follow a week of jobs reports that showed strong gains in employment during October.

    Source: CoStar Group, www.costar.com